Lithuania fails to reach a sufficient disease prevention level


2022 08 29

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The health Insurance funds urge the residents of Lithuania to take a greater care of themselves and have their periodical check-ups under disease prevention programmes, covered by the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund (CHIF). The purpose of these programmes is to detect a disease in its early stage – before it shows any symptoms.

Today, we keep discussing the culture of health, where public health becomes a duty and responsibility of each citizen, rather than the state alone. The ability to take action and be proactive, i.e. tackle diseases before their onset or during early stages, which means they can be successfully eliminated by medicine, is becoming an increasingly important index of a modern healthcare system. Free preventive programmes are an excellent measure.

Currently, Lithuania offers 5 CHIF-covered preventive programmes: cervical, breast, colon and prostate cancer, and cardiovascular diseases.

‘You won’t have to push any mountains to undergo a preventive check-up. In order to register for a preventive programme, CHI-covered residents must firstly contact their general physician at the healthcare institution they're registered with.’ says Rasa Savičiūtė, Chief Specialist of the Services Management Division of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) under the Ministry of Health.

According to her, the NHIF data shows that resident participation at preventive programmes has already reached the pre-pandemic level, but it is not enough.

The health insurance funds are kindly reminding that an annual check-up under the cardiovascular disease prevention programme is available for men, aged 40-54 (inclusive) and women, aged 50-64 (inclusive).

Cervical cancer prevention programme is offered for women from 25 to 59 years old (inclusive). Based on the said programme, a cytological smear of the cervix is offered to women, aged 25-34 (inclusive), once every 3 years, while a high-risk cervical papillomavirus (HR HPV) test and a liquid-based cervical cytological smear (if the HR HPV test is positive) is offered for women, aged 35-59, every 5 years.

Check-ups under the breast cancer prevention programme are available for women, aged 50-69 (inclusive) every 2 years.

Check-ups under the colon cancer prevention programme are available for men and women, aged 50-74 (inclusive) every 2 years.

Prostate cancer early diagnosis funding programme is offered for men, aged 50-69 (inclusive) and men in the risk group (as of 45 years old) every 2 or 5 years (the frequency of the service depends on the concentration of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood and age).

‘We keep reminding all patients that the testing is very quick. Believe me, these short and uncomfortable sensations, such as a mammogram, are forgotten in no time. Very often this testing helps to save lives.’ says the general physician Elena Šakelienė, claiming she’s happy to see all of her patients coming for their regular check-ups.

People that do not fall into the age groups, defined in a specific programme, but sense certain symptoms and are worried about their health, should immediately contact their general practitioner, who will make a decision and, if needed, conduct the necessary testing.

The health insurance funds allocate increasingly larger CHIF funds for preventive programmes every year. This year the funds allocated reached as much as 30.8 million Eur, which is 6 million Eur more than last year.

More information on free disease prevention programmes, implemented in Lithuania, is available here.

The press service of the NHIF and the Ministry of Health

(Piktochart photo)

The NHIF invites you:

Your questions are welcome by email [email protected] or phone: local (8 5) 232 2222, international +370 5 232 222